Humans, also known as scavengers to the Pyrrhian dragons, are a species inhabiting both Pyrrhia and Pantala. On Pantala, Cricket calls them "reading monkeys." They are regarded by dragons to be somewhat more dangerous than average prey, as they have weapons and are more intelligent, although most dragons do not seem to acknowledge or even notice it. They are seen as a nuisance and/or prey to most dragons. Smolder has been known to keep a scavenger that he named Flower (otherwise known as Rose; Smolder named her Flower because she tried to tell him by pointing at a tapestry of a rose) as a pet who could draw. Winter also had one named Bandit (he considered him an exotic pet). Winter later went on to establish a scavenger sanctuary at the end of Darkness of Dragons. It was also shown in a letter at the end of Winter Turning that Vermilion was interested in getting a scavenger of his own. It is noted by Scarlet after she ate Mushroom that scavengers tasted stringy and had a fishy aftertaste.
Scavengers were once the dominant life form of Pyrrhia, easily killing off the dragons. According to Webs, some of the things scavengers supposedly did before the Scorching are, in the dragon's eyes, too absurd to be true. Eventually, the dragons came together as one and arranged separate tribes, overthrowing the scavengers and almost wiping them out completely. This was known by the dragons as the Scorching. Scavengers have dens or villages and towns all over the continent, which are frequently destroyed by dragons. They are seemingly obsessed with treasure, doing anything they can to steal it from dragons.
They have been shown to live and hunt in groups, proving that they are very social creatures.
In a Q&A, Tui confirms that scavengers do not see dragons as intelligent life forms, more as just "giant flying sharks." They do have more clues than the dragons to the contrary, as it is hard to miss the giant castles and structures inhabited by dragons. Tui stated that it's a very debated topic among scavengers.
There were several scavengers kept in the NightWing school, and Listener could sense what she described as in-depth emotion from them. She and Clearsight rescued the captive scavengers in their school, but one of them got eaten by an IceWing upon release at the North Beach in the old Night Kingdom.
Three scavengers (Heath, Stone, and Rose) robbed the SandWing stronghold and in the process of escaping, Stone impaled Queen Oasis in the eye with a spear. Two of the other scavengers took the treasure, along with the queen's cut-off tail barb, and left, leaving Rose behind injured in a sand dune. Since none of her daughters had defeated Oasis, the princesses argued over who should be queen, which escalated into a full-scale war known as the War of SandWing Succession.
The story of the aftermath of the death of Queen Oasis, from the viewpoints of the scavengers Wren, Ivy, and Leaf. It is revealed that before Oasis was murdered, humans and dragons largely did not interact. However once the war started, dragons started destroying settlements to both find the stolen treasure and avenge the SandWing queen.
Deathbringer and Quickstrike flew over a scavenger den on Deathbringer's first assassin mission. Deathbringer seemed vaguely interested in them at the time, although later in The Hidden Kingdom he seemed terrified of them, calling them "creepy," most likely because of the events that took place in Dragonslayer involving him and Wren.Clay and Tsunami escaped from Under the Mountain, they encountered a scavenger (Mushroom) and marveled at it. Tsunami mentioned how she had thought they would be more ferocious. Clay asked if they could eat it. It had stolen Queen Scarlet's treasure, carrying it on a bag over its shoulder. Queen Scarlet then flew down and bit off his (Mushroom's) head.
During their captivity in the Sky Kingdom, four scavengers (Rowan, Cranberry, Cardinal, and Arbutus) were released to interrupt the fight between Starflight and Tsunami. They had a battle strategy and surrounded them quickly. However, both male scavengers were eventually killed, and the two remaining females were wheeled away in a cage. As the dragonets were escaping the SkyWing palace, Clay rescued a small scavenger that was climbing a cliff that was trying to escape (Leaf).
Tsunami decided to save two scavengers drifting in a boat during a storm by putting them on an island.
Starflight and Fatespeaker discover that the NightWings were keeping track of scavenger dens for an unknown reason. It was later discovered that they were trying to locate the stolen SandWing treasure when Queen Oasis was killed to find the Eye of Onyx.
Winter kept a pet scavenger named Bandit.
Winter releases Bandit in the rainforest. It is currently unknown what happened to Bandit, although some speculate he reappeared in the desert scene with the group of scavengers Peril finds in Escaping Peril. Winter later saves Qibli from being impaled by a projectile fired from a ballista by the scavengers of a well-fortified den nearby (The Indestructible City). Winter is shown to have a scientific interest in studying scavengers, planting the seeds for him to later open up his scavenger sanctuary.
Peril was hunting when she found a few scavengers. She considered killing them but decided not to, as there was a sad scavenger who reminded her of herself.
When Turtle, Kinkajou, and hundreds of various NightWings flew over what seemed to be an abandoned scavenger den, Turtle idly thought about what he would think if he were a scavenger and saw hundreds of dragons flying overhead.
A few scavengers were seen held in captivity by Vulture, who are later freed by Winter. In the epilogue, Winter is shown hunting scavengers so he can catch them to observe them more closely in Sanctuary, a new town similar to Possibility that is a work in progress.
Blue and his friends found what they described as "a reading monkey," as the creature possessed a very small book. This suggests that the few scavengers that live in Pantala are underground hidden away or next to extinct. The book also seems to suggest they have rudimentary technology.
It's briefly mentioned while Sundew reunites with Willow and tells her what happened. Willow mentions ghosts and scavengers as examples of stories to be told at parties and says that maybe the HiveWings who saw Sundew in the Hive will assume it was their imagination and it'll end up as a story like these. This might imply that scavengers are something of a myth in Pantala, or at least among the SapWings, since Willow is the only one on Pantala so far who seems to know anything about scavengers.
Throughout the series, scavengers have been known to use weapons in defense against dragons. They do not have any natural defenses. Weapons they are known to use are spears, swords, knives, and a modified version of a ballista to launch flaming spikes to kill dragons. In Dragonslayer, Undauntable and Rowan mention that the scavengers at a medieval castle den (The Indestructible City) use catapults to fight dragons. The Indestructible City also has a water-collecting contraption similar to a waterwheel built out into the Winding Tail River. Many scavenger civilizations, such as Valor, are hidden away from where dragons would see them, such as underground, and Talisman has a warning bell, underground bunkers, and most of the town buildings are camouflaged from the air with leaves and branches.
It appears that scavengers are named after things that are small and sometimes overlooked, such as leaves (Leaf), flowers (Daffodil, Violet, Camellia, Bluebell, Rose), small animals (Crow, Lark, Trout, Wren, Butterfly, Squirrel, Boar, Cardinal) and geographical features (Stone, Brook, Heath, Forest, Gorge). In the Indestructible City, they are named after redeeming qualities (such as Undauntable or the Invincible Lord).
Click here for a list of known scavengers.
- Scavengers have been known to keep animals as pets or livestock. Rose was mentioned to have kept a desert mouse as a pet once, and Daffodil has a pet rabbit.
- Cricket calls scavengers "reading monkeys."
- Scavengers are quite small compared to full-grown dragons, as Tsunami was able to pick up one of their boats while flying and Clay was also able to scoop one up in his talon. Anemone is described as being no taller than a scavenger, so it can be presumed that dragons are large, even as one-year-old dragonets. When Kinkajou fed Bandit a blueberry, it was said to be about as big as his hand, because dragon food is larger than food on Earth, being proportional to dragons.
- Scavengers seem to be different sizes compared to dragons each time they are mentioned. This may be because few dragons have ever seen them or because of dragons' varying heights. However, those that have seen them say they are about the size of a large dragon's head. It is not known if this is comparing to dragon heads' horizontal or vertical length.
- In the prologue of The Brightest Night, Blister described scavengers as being too "bulky and squishy" for her taste. Additionally, in The Dragonet Prophecy when Clay and Tsunami escaped the cave and met Queen Scarlet, the queen described the scavenger she had just eaten to be "stringy and tasting like fish," making it clear that she dislikes the taste.
- Mind-readers like Moon or Listener can hear scavengers' emotions, but not their thoughts.
- In an annotated version of The Dragonet Prophecy, Tui stated that female scavengers are usually smarter than male scavengers.
- In The Poison Jungle, Willow refers to scavengers as "scavengers" instead of a "reading monkey" like Cricket does. This might mean the SapWings have more knowledge about scavengers, or it might just be an oversight by Tui.